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What Are The Most Common Surgical Errors?

| Jun 4, 2022 | Firm News

No one goes into surgery expecting to experience an error, but surgical mistakes do happen. These errors can have devastating consequences for patients, leading to serious injuries, complications, and even death. In fact, a study revealed that medical errors were the third leading cause of death in patients in the U.S. According to the National Library of Medicine, nearly 4,000 surgical errors occur each year in the U.S. In this blog, we will discuss the most common surgical errors that can lead to a medical malpractice lawsuit.

The Top Four Surgical Errors that Can Lead to a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

Foreign Objects

This is also referred to as retained surgical foreign bodies, which is more common than people realize. In fact, it is estimated that there are 1,500 cases per year where foreign bodies are left behind during a surgery in the U.S. Instruments and other foreign objects left in patients’ bodies occur when a surgeon or other medical professional leaves a piece of equipment or another object inside a patient’s body after surgery. Common items that are accidentally left behind include gauze, sponges, and even needles.

Anesthesia Errors

Anesthesia errors are among some of the most common types of surgical mistakes; there are nearly 1.5 million anesthetic errors each year. Anesthesia is a vital part of any surgery, and mistakes related to anesthesia can have serious consequences. Common anesthesia errors include:

  • Administering too much or too little anesthesia.

  • Failing to monitor a patient’s vital signs during surgery.

  • Making incorrect assumptions about a patient’s health status.

Wrong Site, Wrong Procedure, Wrong Patient

There is nothing more terrifying than those that involve patients who have gone through a procedure where they have been operated on the wrong body part, undergone the wrong surgery, or undergone an accident surgical procedure that was meant for another patient. This perplexing situation may be more common than you think. Wrong-site surgery occurs approximately 40 times per week in hospitals and clinics in America.


Infections can occur after any surgery, but in some cases, they may be the result of negligence on the part of the medical staff. Common causes of surgical infections include:

  • Using dirty instruments.

  • Failing to sterilize equipment properly.

  • Not taking proper precautions to prevent the spread of infection.

Contact Indianapolis Surgical Error Attorneys

It is crucial to identify the cause of a surgical error, as this provides evidence in your medical malpractice case. At Hovde Dassow + Deets, attorneys work with medical experts and other specialists to investigate claims, provide expert testimony, and build the strongest possible cases on behalf of our clients.

If you or a loved one has undergone a surgical error due to medical malpractice, we can help. Contact us today at 888-229-1778 to schedule a free case consultation.